Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Evidence summaries tailored to health policy-makers in low- and middle-income countries

Sarah E Rosenbaum, Claire Glenton, Charles Shey Wiysonge, Edgardo Abalos, Luciano Mignini, Taryn Young, Fernando Althabe, Agustín Ciapponi, Sebastian Garcia Marti, Qingyue Meng, Jian Wang, Ana Maria De la Hoz Bradford, Suzanne N Kiwanuka, Elizeus Rutebemberwa, George W Pariyo, Signe Flottorp & Andrew D Oxman

Volume 89, Number 1, January 2011, 54-61

Table 1. Information needs of policy-makers with respect to the evidence

General topic What is already known
Retrieval Timely retrieval of relevant research facilitates use.10,11
Time scale for commissioning new research fits poorly into time frame for policy-making.12
Research is often published in academic sources poorly accessible to policy-makers.13
Relevance for LMICs LMIC policy-makers may have limited access to subscription-based information or to the Internet.14,15
Research carried out in high-income countries may have limited applicability to LMICs.1618
Content Systematic reviews sometimes answer too narrow a question.19
Policy-makers want not just information about “what works”, but also clearly articulated implications for policy, such as costs, applicability, impacts on equity.1,3,10,13,2022
Design/ease of use Length is a barrier; short summaries (with key messages highlighted) are strongly preferred.10,13,20,23
The perceptions that reviews facilitate the critical appraisal of evidence and are easy to use are strongly associated with use.6
Correct understanding of evidence and its quality in full-text format may be difficult for non-researchers. Tables that summarize findings may help.24
Use of familiar, jargon-free “plain language” is recommended.13,25

LMCIs, low- and middle-income countries.

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